How often do you have meetings—once a week, every other week, once a quarter, not at all? Do your meetings seem like whine-and-complain sessions or are they productive and supportive of your staff’s success?
As an owner, you may feel overwhelmed by the thought of team meetings and see them as one more thing to do in your busy schedule. But it is important for any business owner to have structured team meetings and “plan and review” sessions in order to propel your team and business into further success.
- Structure. I recommend having a team meeting every two weeks, alternating the focus between technical training and business. It is important to structure your team meetings. Beforehand, be clear on your intention for the meeting, create an outline, and finally, declare the desired outcome of the meeting. For example, “The intention of my meeting with my team today is to teach them a retail system that will help us grow our retail sales. The outcome will be that at the end of the meeting everyone will be fired up, ready to take on the retail system that I taught, and we will launch an incentive contest to sell retail for the month of May.” Once you’re clear on the goal of the meeting, the trick is to follow through and stick to it.
- Plan and Reviews. Plan and reviews are just like the President’s State of the Union Address. Theyare used to state where you are in the business and where you want to go. I recommend having a plan-and-review session with each staff member once a month. These individual meetings should be a 30-minute conversation. I recommend asking the person to evaluate herself (we are always our own worst critic). Have each employee fill out a Plan and Review Form that asks some key questions. For example:
- What are three things that you like about the salon?
- What is one thing the salon can improve upon?
- What are three things you are doing well?
- What is one thing that you want to improve upon within the next 30 days?
All of the questions mentioned above support owners in having successful plan and reviews by enrolling the team members in the work they are doing individually and as team members. It is important to celebrate the positives and find a way to turn around any negatives. It also demonstrates that the owner or manager respects the team members and values their opinions. The answers to these questions create an opening for the owner/manager to share her thoughts on that team member’s performance and to find ways to support that team member in achieving her goals.
- Quarterly Plan and Review. Quarterly plan and reviews are a little more intense sessions that should take an hour. The owner or manager will review each team member’s performance (one-on-one) over a three-month span of time. The owner will look at the total sales the team member brought in during that quarter and show her if she is on track to achieve her goals for the year. You will also rate her performance in key areas (i.e., increasing service sales, increasing retail sales, how effectively she is following the business systems, her attitude, and how she gets along with the team). This is an opportunity for the owner/manager to share with each team member what they see. For example: “You are really great in service and now it is time for you to focus more on retail. Here is my recommendation. . .” This assessment of each team member’s overall business, technical, and service performance creates an opportunity for you to coach each individual to success. The bottom line is, owners need to understand the importance of team meetings, monthly plan and reviews, and quarterly plan and reviews, and mark them in your schedule. These meetings and evaluations will make or break your business.
Steve Gomez is director of training for Salon Training International, a business training company for salons and spas.